Makley schooled herself in how to scan, enhance, and combine images, archive them electronically, create PowerPoint presentations, and hunt down resources on the web. When she arrived at Reed three years ago as an assistant professor of Asian studies, she was one of the few new faculty members to ask for a scanner. “ I hit the ground running,” she laughs.
Today Makley is able not only to tell her students about a Tibetan ritual, but to take them there virtually. For her class on the anthropology of sex and gender, she can draw on an archive of images to illustrate sexism in advertising. “ I have visualized my teaching,” she says. “It makes the written word so much richer and opens students to forms of learning and thinking that only happen through images, not text.”
Reed students and the rest of their generation, born and raised on visual media, take this new approach in stride. But it does represent a shift for many college and university faculty members. “Some personalities embrace technology, others want to see it tried and tested, still others remain skeptics,” says Makley, who with a couple of colleagues has presented informal faculty workshops on the use of technology in teaching. “Here at Reed, the trend is toward trying new things and being curious about the possibilities.”